Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Podcast: Nate McMillan from shootaround

Sparse group of media today at shootaround considering tonight's opponent and the impending trade deadline. Jason Quick, Laura Green and yours truly were the only attendees today in Tualatin, not that I'm complaining. Just not what I expected.

Anywho, there were a few bits of information to come out of shootaround. As expected Steve Blake will play tonight, and he will be the starter. Sergio Rodriguez will be the first point guard off the bench, with Bayless picking up spot minutes when those become available.

As also expected, Joel Przybilla will assume the starting center position in place of the injured Greg Oden. Channing Frye slides in as backup center and power forward.

Coach McMillan has nothing to say of any trade rumors, other than he hasn't been asked to sit anyone for tonight's game. "Not yet," McMillan said with a smile. Take that as you will.

After shootaround, McMillan talked privately with Travis Outlaw for a few minutes. McMillan wouldn't divulge the specifics of the conversation, but he did have this to say of Outlaw:

"We’re going to need him. He’s had a good first half. We’re going to need him even more in the second half to continue to score, but defend, rebound and block some shots. I expect him to, as he’s done throughout this season, most likely be in the game finishing the game. He can do it. It’s not anything he can’t do. He’s done it, but we’re going to need it even more so."

McMillan said he planed on sitting with all of his players before the end of the week to discuss what is expected of them over these final 30 games of the regular season.

That's the recap of most of what McMillan said, but if you'd like to hear it with your own ears, here it is.

Download the podcast (4.5 MB)

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